When you are going through a change at work or in your personal life you need to be prepared for it.
Ponder on this question: when you decide to compete in a sporting event or run a marathon would you just turn up on the day and start?
Or would you do some training, reflect on your progress during the preparation and ensure that you were ready to tackle the challenge?
While people will put in different levels of effort, most people would do some form of training before competing.
Those that want to win or beat their personal best time would develop a training plan, train rigorously, monitor progress and alter their approach if the training wasn’t giving them the desired results.
It’s the same as when you are preparing to go through an organisational or personal change.
The more you personally prepare for the change, the more likely it is that you will cope with the change and adapt faster to the new environment.
If you want to master change, it takes practice and a plan. As the famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin said:
“The difference between a beginner and the master – is that the master practices a whole lot more”.
Before you embark on the change, it’s good to take a quick stocktake on your ability to cope with change.
How physically, mentally and emotionally resilient are you? This is about uncovering the depth and breadth of your bandwidth for change. The more flexible and adaptable you are, the more likely you are to welcome change and see it as invigorating.
How tolerant are you to ambiguity and disorder? With any change and transformation there are periods of instability, uncertainty and disruption. The more you are able to thrive in these types of environments, the less disturbing you’ll find the change itself.
How do you react when things go wrong? Change always involves innovation and things invariably don’t go according to plans. How you react to mistakes and your ability to learn from those mistakes, are a hallmark of whether you have a fixed or growth mindset. Having a growth mindset is a key to thriving through change.
How attuned are you to others and their needs? This is about broadening your field of view when things are changing, so that you don’t only focus on what it means for your, but you look around and consider the impact on others.
Are you emotionally invested in the change? Do you care enough, too much or not all? Your level of emotional investment in the change will determine how much effort you put into making the change work for you and those around you.
Are you willing to invest time and energy acquiring new skills and capabilities? To adapt to the new circumstances you will need to do things differently, and this means you will need to learn new skills and capabilities.
For each of those elements there are things you can do to get yourself match fit, so you will ultimately improve your experience and comfort with the change.
So next time you are faced with a change, think about what form of personal training you are going to do to make sure you are ready to not just cope with the change, but to thrive through it.
I love to talk about all things transformation and change. And to find out what I can do to help your organisation and people reframe and thrive!
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